Day 1: PARO INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT – PARO (L/D)
Upon arrival at Paro International airport, you will be met by your guide from Bhutan-Bhutan Travel. In the afternoon, you will have an opportunity to explore the beautiful town of Paro.
Dinner and overnight at your hotel in Paro.
Day 2: HIKING TO TAKTSANG MONASTERY OR TIGER’S NEST (B/L/D)
After breakfast, we will drive you to the trail head to commence a climb through beautiful pine forest. We will stop for light refreshments at the Taktsang cafeteria before walking on to the famous, Taktsang monastery or Tiger’s Nest. The primary Lhakhang or main temple was built around Guru Rimpoche’s meditation cave in 1684 by the Penlop of Paro, Gyalse Tenzin Rabgay. This incredible monastery clings to the edge of a sheer rock cliff that plunges 900m into the valley below. Legend has it that Guru Padmasambhava, the tantric mystic who brought Buddhism to Bhutan in 747 AD, flew here on the back of a flying tiger, Dorji Drolo from Kurtoe Singye Dzong in the east.
After lunch, we will visit Drugyal Dzong (a ruined fortress), 16km away from Paro. Although it is now in ruins, this Dzong has great historical importance for the people of Bhutan. It was a place where the Bhutanese finally defeated the Tibetan invasion. On a clear day one can view sacred Mt. Jomolhari (mountain of Goddess). We will also visit Ta Dzong (built in 1656 and renovated in 1968), an ancient watchtower, which now houses the National Museum. Below the museum is the Rinpung Dzong (literally meaning “Heap of Jewels”), the centre of civil and religious authority in this valley, built in 1646 by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal.
Dinner and overnight at your hotel in Paro.
Day 3: PARO – JILI DZONG (Distance: 7km, 4-5hrs, 1090m ascent, camp altitude 3480m) (B/L/D)
The 6-day Druk Path Trek begins today at the National Museum (Ta-Dzong). The first day can be quite arduous as you have to climb more than 1000m elevation. The trek follows a gravel road past a few farms for about 30 minutes and then climbs up a steep ridge before leading through blue pine and fir forests to Damche Gom. Once you reach the ridge below Jili Dzong you descend about 100m to the camp site below the Dzong. If the weather is clear, the Paro valley and the high snow-capped mountains of the Himalayas can be seen. If the caretaker is there you can visit the Dzong.
Dinner and overnight camping near Jele Dzong.
Day 4: JELE DZONG – JANGCHULAKHA (Distance: 10km, 4-5hrs, 310m ascent, 50m descent, camp altitude 3770m) (B/L/D)
Today’s trek starts with a short and steep climb for about an hour and a half, and then the slope evens out a bit and the ascent is more gradual passing through a thick alpine forest of rhododendron till we reach our overnight camp. You may see herders and their yaks around your campsite.
Dinner and overnight camping at Jangchulakha.
Day 5: JANGCHULAKHA – JIGMELANG TSHO (Distance: 11km, 4hrs, 230m descent, 330m ascent, camp altitude 3870m) (B/L/D)
After breakfast, we follow a trail along the ridge of the mountains and on a clear day you can get stunning views of the mountains and valleys. Our overnight camp is close to Lake Jigmelang Tsho. This lake is known for its giant sized trout, and if you are lucky you may enjoy well-prepared trout for dinner.
Dinner and overnight camping near Jigmelang Tsho.
Day 6: JIGME LANGTSHO – SIMKOTRA TSHO (Distance: 11km, 4hrs, 820m ascent, 400m descent, camp altitude 4110m) (B/L/D)
The trail today goes through large areas of dwarf rhododendron trees and past Janetsho Lake. Once again, you may come across some yak herder camps where you will get the opportunity to get a glimpse of a nomad’s life.
Dinner and overnight camping near Simkotra Tsho Lake.
Day 7: SIMKOTRA – PHAJODING (Distance: 10km, 3-4hrs, 130m ascent, 680m descent, camp altitude 3750m) (B/L/D)
Today’s trek begins with a gradual climb and if the weather permits you will get a spectacular view of Mt. Gangkar Puensum, the highest mountain in Bhutan and several other Himalayan peaks. From this pass, the trek takes you gradually downhill towards Phajodhing, where a monastery and meditation retreat centre is located.
Dinner and overnight camping above Phajodhing Monastery.
Day 8: PHAJODING – MOTITHANG (Distance 4-5km, 3hrs, 1130m descent) (B/L/D)
After passing Phajodhing monastery the trek to Thimphu (Motithang), is downhill through a forested area of mostly blue pine. The walk, at a leisurely pace, takes about three hours.
Dinner and overnight at your hotel in Thimphu
Day 9: THIMPHU – SIGHTSEEING (B/L/D)
After breakfast, we will drive you to the Dochula Pass at 3140m for a photo stop and for tea, coffee etc and to enjoy the most spectacular view of the Himalayan snow capped mountains and a great view of Gasa Dzong at a distance if the weather is clear. Lunch will be served at Dochula cafeteria.
After lunch, visit the National Memorial Chorten built in honor of Bhutan’s late King Jigme Dorji Wangchuck before visiting Giant Buddha Sakyamuni statue at Kuenselphodrang, the mini zoo at Motithang to see the Takin, Bhutan’s national animal. Then visit Tashichho Dzong, seat of the national government and the Central Monastic Body which includes the summer residence of the Je Khenpo (Chief Abbot of Bhutan). If you wish we can then visit the Handicrafts Emporium followed by shopping for souvenirs and other items in the shops of Thimphu.
Farewell dinner with traditional dance and overnight at your hotel in Thimphu.
Day 10: PARO – PARO INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT (B)
In the morning drive to Paro International Airport where your guide from Bhutan-Bhutan Travel will bid you farewell as you embark on your onward journey.